74 - Terry Patten (A New Republic of the Heart)
Terry Patten is a lifelong practitioner of both contemplative spirituality and real-world activism whose new book, A New Republic of the Heart: An Ethos for Revolutionaries–A Guide To Inner Work for Holistic Change, gives us lucid instructions for how we can start to ask the hardest questions and engage the toughest problems in our age of global transformation.
I met Terry in 2005 when he was teaching how to recognize and integrate the psychological “shadow,” our repressed unconscious, at a seminar for Ken Wilber’s Integral Institute. His warmth, humility, and generosity of spirit is palpable in this conversation, and reflects the decades of experience that has inspired his latest writing…it’s an honor to have Terry on the show, thirteen years after he transformed my life by teaching me how to engage and love the hardest, most unpleasant parts of my own mind.
In one of Future Fossils Podcast’s most vulnerable episodes yet,
- How to deal with new problems that none of us have the abilities to handle on our own, or even by thinking together?
- How do we actualize our true potentials and what roles do others play in this?
- The need for personal transformation in order to meet our civilization-level challenges.
- There is no formula. It’s all an adventure. But you can’t ignore any of it.
- (How/) Can Global Warming and other urgent “wicked problems” be a planetary koan?
- Does social media provide an adequate venue for the difficult and vulnerable conversations that we need to have?
- The leap of faith that is group improvisation in art and collective sense-making.
- What does it really mean to “Follow Your Bliss?” What role do heartbreak and genius play in this?
- The need for the secular and spiritual communities to come together in respectful mutual discussion in an era of vicious disagreement.
- How the ideological defense of conspiracy theories AND mainstream narratives gets in the way of effectively focusing on our most urgent realities…and how to evolve beyond the media environment that prefers inflammatory grudge matches over compassionate mutual learning.
- What do we do if we never get “reality” back, and people’s points of view just keep diverging? How can we come together on coherent strategies if we can’t come to a consensus on the basic facts?
- Who inspires Terry Patten as exemplars of heartful and soulful transformational activism?
“We live in a culture that is in deep, deep denial…[Global Warming] is talked about all the time on the evening news, but it’s denied just as much on the evening news. You aren’t really talking about it if your voice isn’t breaking with emotion. We’re kind of in this mass consensus trance that doesn’t allow us to break through into effectiveness. It’s a time that calls for revolutionary engagement, and yet…”
“How to stay reality-bound in our post-truth era is at the center of things.”
“Love is going to have to find a voice that’s even more powerful and authoritative than the voice of righteous indignation and anger. Love is going to have to reassert its natural authority…whether it’s a great hospice project or it’s the process by which we turn all of this around, the heart is at the center of it.”
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